"I told him I would choke him out," Ben Revere joked.
It was the first hit and RBI of Herrera's career, and it helped the Phillies (3-2) move over .500 for the first time since May 4, when they were 15-14. The Phillies selected Herrera in the Rule 5 Draft in December, viewing him as a prospect rather than some long shot to make the team. He proved his worth with a strong Spring Training, not only making the Opening Day roster, but hitting second in the Opening Day lineup.
Herrera had not started the previous three games after fouling a ball off his left foot Monday, but he started Saturday and came up big in the 10th.
"I was very pleased my first base hit of my Major League career was as big as that one," Herrera said through interpreter Juan Samuel.
Herrera had been hitless in his first nine at-bats, but what a week anyway.
"I feel great," he said. "I thank God for this opportunity of being here, being in Spring Training, making this ballclub and being in this situation. I'm very grateful it happened this way, and hopefully I can stick around for a long time."
Herrera got the ball afterward, and teammate Freddy Galvis got him with the shaving-cream pie. He still had shaving cream in his hair as he spoke to reporters afterward.
Herrera also got a ton of text messages from friends and family back home in Venezuela.
"I guess he listened," Revere said about his pseudo-threat. "I said it in English. I don't know that much Spanish. I just had my hands going, 'I will choke you if you don't … .' It was like Spanglish. I gave him hand signals.